Composite Materials News

The latest news from the composites industry including new material science, engineering breakthroughs, processing, production and manufacture.

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Metamaterials boost sensitivity of MRI machines

An international group of researchers has developed a technology that it claims can reduce Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning times by more than 50%, without changing the equipment. According to the researchers, this efficiency is achieved by placing a layer of metamaterials onto the bed of the scanner, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio.  Read More


Carbon fibre composites benefit latest BMW

Hexcel’s CFRP technology is being used in the BMW 7 Series to save weight and reinforce the metal shell of the B-pillar. Hexcel has supplied BMW with preforms made of unidirectional carbon prepreg set in various orientations and combined with adhesive. The prepreg is made from Hexcel’s HexPly M77 resin system that cures in one and a half minutes at 160°C.   Read More


Flexible composite heals itself while staying tough

Scientists at Rice University have developed an adaptive material that exhibits self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties.  Read More


The glue sticking it to soldering and welding

MesoGlue is a startup company founded by Professor Hanchen Huang and Paul Elliott of Northeastern University and Professor Stephen Stagon from the University of North Florida. The company claims to have developed a glue made of metal that sets at room temperature and will bond nearly any flat surface with minimal pressure.   Read More


Fire resistant self-compacting concrete

When concrete is exposed to fire it chips and flakes – a process known as spalling. This effect is due to water trapped within the concrete vaporising. As more water vapour is produced the pressure within the concrete structure increases. In concrete structures, chips split away from ceilings, walls, and supporting pillars, reducing their load bearing capacity and increasing the risk of collapse in a burning building.  Read More


Making better planes and space shuttles from nanotube composites

Researchers from Binghamton University claim that boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.  Read More


Building a pilot plant for the production of specialist nanostructured powders

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and nine other European partners are collaborating in the design, scale-up and build of a high energy ball-mill (HEBM) pilot plant for the production and validation of innovative nanostructured powders. These advanced powders will be able to be used in a number of high value manufacturing applications such as cutting tools, medical implants and a range of aerospace and automotive components.  Read More


Graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry

CPI spin out company Primary Dispersions Limited has announced promising results from a UK collaboration that aims to commercialise specialist graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry.  Read More


Nanoparticles used to create ‘super strong’ magnesium

A ‘super strong’ yet light structural metal with an extremely high specific strength and modulus has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  Read More


Boron nanotubes are stronger than carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength - at least 30 times stronger than Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment.  Read More


Metamaterial manipulates sound to improve acoustic imaging

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University claim to have developed a metamaterial made of paper and aluminium that can manipulate acoustic waves to more than double the resolution of acoustic imaging, focus acoustic waves, and control the angles at which sound passes through the metamaterial.  Read More


Roads that de-ice themselves

Turkish researchers led by Seda Kizilel, associate professor Koç University's College of Engineering, are developing materials for use on roads that could spell the end for icy driving conditions.  Read More


Hybrid material could enable 4D adaptive devices

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and Clemson University have modelled a hybrid material that they claim can reconfigure itself multiple times when exposed to light and heat, allowing for the creation of devices that not only adapt to their environment, but also display different behaviour in the presence of different stimuli.  Read More


Graphene takes flight

A partnership between The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) and a Chinese aviation company could take graphene composite-based planes a step closer to reality.  Read More


Researchers make world’s thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claim to have created the thinnest plates that can be picked up and manipulated by hand.  Read More


Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed ‘power paper’. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer and has the ability to store energy.   Read More


Composites UK reviews the developments of the CAP Scheme

Composites UK launched its Composites Assured Practitioner Scheme (CAP) in January 2015, which is working to produce standardised guidelines by which the competency of employees can be internally assessed across a range of technologies, processes and methodologies. This enables companies to identify skills gaps, develop a training matrix for their staff if required and better match project requirements to workforce capability. This should ultimately lead to reduced scrap rates and reduced costs.  Read More


World’s first polyamide strut mount for passenger car chassis

ContiTech Vibration Control has developed the first strut mount made from fibreglass-reinforced BASF Ultramid polyamide for use at both the front and rear axle in the chassis of passenger cars. The strut mount is said to offer weight reduction of around 25% and longer service life over traditional variants made from steel or aluminium.  Read More


Structure of ‘concrete disease’ solved

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI teamed up with colleagues from the Swiss Materials Science Lab Empa to study a degenerative condition in concrete: alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) - also called ‘concrete disease’ or ‘concrete cancer’. In the course of AAR, a material forms that takes up more space than the original concrete and gradually cracks the concrete from within as decades go by.  Read More


Self-healing concrete could save £40bn in maintenance costs

A team of researchers from the Universities of Bath, Cambridge and Cardiff are carrying out the first trials of self-healing concrete in the UK. If the trial is successful it could lead to huge savings on maintenance of the UK’s network of roads, towns, and cities. It is estimated that around £40billion is spent each year in the UK on structural maintenance, and the majority of these structures are made of concrete.  Read More


GE to mass-produce CMCs for the first time

Engineers like GE Aviation’s Sanjay Correa believe that “we’re running out of headroom in metals.” He and his team at GE say that a new class of materials called ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) is set to revolutionise everything from power generation to aviation, and allow engineers to build more powerful and efficient jet engines before the end of the decade.  Read More


Haydale and Huntsman to develop Graphene enhanced ARALDITE resins

Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd (HCS) has signed a letter of intent to start a joint development and commercialisation agreement with Huntsman Advanced Materials (Huntsman). As part of agreement Haydale will functionalise Graphene Nano Platelets (GNPs) using its proprietary HDPlas process and add them to Huntsman's ARALDITE resins to create a highly loaded masterbatch.   Read More


Glass-like coatings for automotive parts combine protection with colour

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials will be presenting coatings that offer protection from corrosion and wear as well as featuring aesthetically pleasing design and colour at this year's IAA International Motor Show.  Read More


Haydale joins NATEP to develop electrically conductive enhanced composites for aircraft

Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd has entered into an 18 month research project awarded and managed by the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).  Read More


Bioplastic healed by water

According to a team of researchers at Penn State, a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth can be healed by a drop of water. This material may someday extend the life of fibre-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects.   Read More

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